The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America welcomes the decision of the United States Supreme Court last Friday to reconsider its 1985 decision in Aguilar v. Felton.
The 1985 decision barred public school teachers from teaching remedial education classes within parochial school premises and necessitated that such classes required by law to be offered to all students of need be taught in trailers located nearby. The Aguilar decision has been a costly burden to state and local governments (who have rented the trailers at a cost of thousands of dollars) and an even more costly burden upon students who require special educational assistance. The Orthodox Union has advocated the reversal of this decision since it was handed down by the Court.
“The Aguilar decision was a peak of Supreme Court decisions that read the Constitution’s Establishment Clause as a tool against the accommodation of religion in American society,” said Nathan Diament, director of the Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Affairs. “The Orthodox Union has worked hard over the years to have this misreading of the Constitution corrected,” continued Diament, “and we will continue our work until the First Amendment is recognized as standing for a religiously pluralistic society in which religious citizens are conferred and enjoy the same benefits as atheists and secularists.
The Orthodox Union’s Institute for Public Affairs will work with the coalition of concerned groups to ensure that the Supreme Court reverses Aguilar this term.”